Relationships amid Regulations: Being Human Creates ConnectionsPosted on May 28th, 2020 by Triptych
As tech-savvy as we may think we are these days, knowing how to make a true human connection through technology is still something we, as a population, have far from mastered. As a profession, sales may be even further behind the curve due to its negative stereotype (that’s a topic for another time though). Texts are quick and easy, but they can also be impersonal and bothersome. Emails are one in hundreds that people receive every day. And cold calls aren’t just aptly named because they’re unsolicited. All of which, has been amplified since the onset of an unexpected pandemic that confined most of us to our homes, knocked “business as usual” off its axis, and forced sales to go fully digital.
Now that things have calmed down a bit, and we’ve had ample time to think and breathe, it’s very apparent that this has changed the landscape of sales permanently. The question is, how do salespeople achieve the same level of human connection that is gained during an in-person meeting while maintaining their distance? Ultimately, the prospect needs to know that they are, indeed, still speaking with a human. People in the industry are getting creative to find the answer, and we’ve noticed a few key elements that are common amongst their ideas.
- Put your face into it—yeah, I know that’s not the actual saying, but let’s be honest, no one wants to see your back in your sales pitch. They do, however, want to see your face. Whether through a short-personalized video, like the folks at HubSpot have been dabbling in, or a simple photo to accompany your email, putting at face to the name (see, I got that one right) is a surefire way to make you more human in the eyes of your prospect.
- Ditch digital, but just for a moment—whether you’ve got a smooth cursive or a borderline illegible print, a hand-written note conveys human conditions such as individuality and imperfection. As we discussed in our last blog, The Importance of Direct Mail and Print during an Outbreak, direct mail is a very impactful part of your marketing strategy right now. It can also be impactful to your sales strategy—there are few things that are more human than one’s handwriting. Don’t believe me? Check out this infographic on what your handwriting says about you.
- Laughter is the best medicine—and your prospects are sick of the same old sales emails and phone calls. Mix things up and give your prospects a good laugh. In a recent webinar from HubSpot, the VP of Revenue at Vidyard, Dan Wardle, suggested using props and making jokes to “have that human connection.” If you’re new to the idea of adding humor to your process, try adding a GIF, meme, or video to lighten the mood. Adding humor to whichever medium you’re using is a quick and easy way to establish a human connection, before you jump into sharing with them how you can help.
- Roll out the reading rug, it’s story time—storytelling is a very effective way to make yourself a relatable human. Keep it simple and personal, but not too personal if you know what I mean (if you don’t, well, then maybe you should skip this one). It can be as simple as communicating a family scheduling error that may result in a child running through the background or a “fail” moment you experience just before hopping on the call. Sharing a simple anecdote should be enough to convince your prospect that they are not, in fact, speaking to Mr. Roboto.
- This time, it’s personal—no, seriously, this time you must make your message personalized. Nothing says, “I’m probably a robot” like a generic blanket message. Your prospects and clients want to know how you can help them specifically, not just how generally amazing your product is. Personalization is always a high priority for marketing and sales, but now more than ever, taking the time to personalize your message and benefits, is essential. Varying your message to highlight the benefits that fit the needs of your prospect reassures them that the person on the other end is a real person with a genuine interest in helping their organization.
Ordinarily, salespeople utilize physical meetings to establish strong relationships with their prospects, but things have been far from ordinary since the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s unlikely that ordinary will ever be quite what it used to be. In the same webinar from HubSpot mentioned earlier, the last words were given to Dan Wardle who chose, “Be human” as the most important piece of advice to share with their audience. The human experience is more similar than ever due to the regulations created to keep the public safe—embrace it. Be empathetic. Be positive. Be real. Be human.